From education to employment

University of Chester students and staff gather to celebrate making a difference

CDA, Awards, 2022, Chester, Racecourse, Ceremony

A celebration has been held for students and staff from the University of Chester to come together to mark the achievements of participants and recognise those who successfully completed the CDA (Chester Difference Award). 

The CDA recognises the wide range of extra-curricular activities undertaken by students which develop and enhance their employability skills and help them stand out to future employers.  

Now in its ninth year, the Award recognises activities such as part-time work, volunteering, employability training, additional short courses or being a captain or committee member of a Chester Students’ Union society. 

There are three levels of the Award: The Chester Difference Award; The Chester Difference Plus Award; and The Chester Difference Excellence Award. Each level demonstrates a huge commitment, as students balance their studies with other responsibilities in order to develop their skills.  

A total of 50 students completed the Award this year, including 15 who received the highest level, the Chester Difference Excellence Award.  

The celebration event took place at The Long Room at Chester Racecourse and was hosted by the University’s Director of Music, Matt Baker. Speakers included:

The University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Eunice Simmons; Head of Careers and Employability Diane Appleton; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Area Manager Charnelle Taylor, and founders of Financielle Holly Holland and Laura Pomfret. Attendees also heard from some of the students who have successfully completed the Award: Alexandra Fellows, a second-year student of Marketing Management who also planned the event as part of her Work Based Learning Placement; Bronte Trotman, a second year Criminology student who received the Chester Difference Plus Award and Ashleigh Adonis, a third year Psychology student who received the Chester Difference Excellence Award.

Diane Appleton, Head of Careers and Employability, said:

“The CDA celebration event was an amazing evening. It was wonderful to see that even in these challenging times so many students have engaged in a variety of extra-curricular activities, including volunteering, part time work, ambassador roles and attending our Career Workshops. As well as receiving awards, it was really inspiring to hear students sharing their Chester Difference Award experiences. All these students are a real credit to themselves, and the local community and the evening was a great opportunity to share and celebrate their success.”

Ashleigh Adonis, Chester Difference Excellence Award winner, said:

“The awards evening was a pleasant surprise added to the end of the Difference Award scheme! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to hear the industry professionals speak as well as fellow award recipients and the Vice-Chancellor. It is the perfect conclusion to a scheme that has many benefits and advantages once completing university.” 

Bronte Trotman said she developed her leadership skills by becoming a Student Ambassador. She added:

“The award has helped me realise the importance of using examples when talking about what skills you have.” 

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